tv State of the Union CNN October 14, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT
insensitive. that's it for this edition of reliable sources. if you miss a program, go to itunes every monday. check out the audio podcast or buy the version in the nonfiction video section of the itunes store. back next sunday at 11:00 for another critical look at the media. state of the union with candy crowley starts now. that not just fall in the air. that is the quickening of an election in the balance. today the next debate. a president looks for a do-over. a challenge looks for a preet. >> after running for more than a year in which he called himself severely conservative, mitt romney is trying to convince you that he was severely kidding. >> this president calls his policies going forward. i call his policies forewarned. >> round two, obama versus romney, with obama campaign senior advisor robert gibbs and romney campaign senior advisor ed gillespie.
then the sunshine state leans romney. two influential floridians join us. former democratic congressman robert wexler and the chairman of the american conservative union al cardenas and the politics of your money. with grover norquist and democratic strategist bill burton, usa today's washington bureau chief susan page and this is state of the union. in the 11 days since the denver debate mitt romney has been riding the kind of wave that has eluded him since his campaign began. polls show he is closing in on and some some cases leading president obama in pivotal swing states, and romney is campaigning like a candidate with the wind at his back. >> now and then i see obama rallies, and they're chanting four more years. our cheer is four more weeks. we're getting ready for a
change. >> the predent has said he had a bad night in his first meeting with romney and will be more aggressive in tuesday night's debate. joining me, the obama campaign senior advisor robert gibbs. robert, thank you for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> so what -- tell me. you've been very open about the fact -- by you, i mean the obama team, that this will be a different president come tuesday. how so? >> well, look, i think, candy, obviously the president was disappointed in his own performance. he didn't meet his expectations. >> it's not true that he thought he won when he came off the stage? >> absolutely not. you know, and certainly his -- he knew when he walked off that stage and he also knew as he watched the tape of that debate that he has to be more energetic. i think you'll see somebody who is very passionate about the choice that our country faces, and putting that choice in front of voters. are we going to build this economy from the middle out? are we going to give people opportunity and make the needed investments to give them that opportunity, or are we going to
do this from the top down, the perspective that the romney campaign has. >> so would you concede -- i want to show our viewers the swing state polls are out, and you know what they say by and large. they say that in most cases in these swing states and, indeed, nationally, mitt romney is either closed the gap or he is now surpassed president obama in states that the president was ahead in. would you concede it was a pivotal debate that changed how folks looked at least at mitt romney? >> well, look, i think mitt romney's performance was, indeed, magical and theatrical. for 90 minutes he walked away from a campaign he had been running for more than six years previous to that. look, we always expect -- >> the president didn't call him on it at the time, so were you all aware of that? >> was i aware he was going to say i don't have a 5 trillion dollar tax plan, i love teachers. we ought to hire more, all in
contradiction to specific campaign platforms and statements that he has made in the past. i don't think anybody expected that. i'm surprised -- i think maybe only mitt romney understood that he was going to walk away from -- >> that's not an excuse, right? you don't use that as an excuse for the president. >> i think the president will be very forward-looking, will be very conscious of making sure people understand the choice in this election. >> does forward-looking mean you do want him aggressive, you do want him going after mitt romney? >> if you tell me what you are going to ask, i'll tell you how he is going to answer it. >> i'm so sorry. i was asking how -- >> look, again, i think -- you saw this in the vice presidential debate. there's a very clear choice in this election. there's a big difference in the way in which each of these candidates sees this economy going forward, whether, again, we're going to invest in the middle class or cut taxes on the wealthy and hope it all trickles down. we've seen that movie before, and it didn't work out so well, but i think, look, in terms of polling, sure, a couple of states in some places have
gotten tighter. nationally i think so. i mean, look at places like poing in ohio last night that had the president up five, which was better than he was two weeks ago in that state, but, look, i think it's because people in ohio and people in these battleground states understand that mitt romney can walk away from his positions in a 90-minute debate, but they can't walk away from the campaign and the record that he has established over the pass many years. >> you think the president will call him out as lying? >> i think the president will make sure people understand the choice and certainly if mitt romney puts up his hands and says i don't have a $5 trillion tax cut, i don't have -- i don't want to can cut taxes on the very wealthy, absolutely, i think the president will walk through for voters in that room that are going to be undecided exactly what the romney campaign wants to do and why it's bad for this country. >> let me -- this was post the vice presidential debate. as you know, one of the topics discussed was libya, the four americans who died in benghazi on september 11th, and this was romney talking about what joe
biden had to say during that debate. >> he is doubling down on denial. we need to understand exactly what happened as opposed to just having people brush this aside. when the vice president of the united states directly contradicts the testimony -- sworn testimony of state department officials, american citizens have a right to know just what's going on. >> let's take this from a political point of view. the vice president said in that debate we didn't know they wanted additional security in libya. the white house then says, well, we didn't -- by we, we mean the president and the vice president. is that adequate for a president of the united states or the vice president of the united states to look at the deaths for
americans is and say, well, we didn't know they needed more security? >> well, candy, obviously there's a whole bunch of stuff impact this question. first and foremost, nobody wants to get to the bottom of exactly what happened more than this president and this administration. i would say a couple of things. security requests at our embassies and consulates and our buildings throughout the world obviously go to the state department. that's -- those are the people that should be making those decisions. that's the place where -- >> yeah, but he is saying that the president knew about it. i'm just saying that when something like this happens, isn't this about the administration? >> well, mitt romney just did say that, and i will say one thing, candy, you started this question out by saying let's look at this from a political perspective. that's absolutely the wrong perspective to look at this. i think what we need to do is stop playing politics with this issue. ambassador stevens' own father said today this shouldn't be a political issue. this should be an issue we get to the bottom of for our investigation. we should bring those that did this to justice. >> the deaths are incredibly tragic to everyone in america. i assume you would believe also for the romney campaign, but the question here, you know, when you look at it that they're driving at -- the republican
side is driving at is why wasn't there more security, and more to the point, why was there so much bad information coming out about what happened? >> well, look, again, let me go back to this sworn testimony that was given at the hearing. those at the state department said that the very thing that everybody has been saying at every moment in this great tragedy has been the best information that we have when we have it available. we're learning stuff each and every day about what happened. that's what an investigation is supposed to do. let me ask you this. let's figure out what happened, but, you know what, we don't need wing-tipped cowboys or shoot from the hip diplomacy and when mitt romney first responded what was going on in libya, his own party called him out for insensitivity. >> he responded to egypt -- >> no, no, no. he was responding to libya. he has done nothing but politicized this issue. what we need to do is find out what happened and do that as americans, not as democrats and republicans. >> i need just a one-word answer, which no one ever gives me when i say that. let me try. in the end regardless of what happened or how it happened or
whether there was a riot or whether there wasn't a riot, is not any administration responsible for what happened? is the president responsible for the u.s. part of this equation? >> the administration is responsible. countries that provide us consulates and missions are responsible also for keeping those people safe and secure. an investigation is what the president and the secretary of state have asked for so that we can understand directly all the things that happened and to take steps necessary to keep anyone that serves our country that serves our country overseas safe from harm. >> senior advisor to the obama campaign. thanks for joining us. the challenge for e challenger. holding on to the momentum he gained in the first debate. romney senior adviser ed gillespie is next. rogaine? well, i'll admit it.
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[ male announcer ] fedex office. ffor help finding a plan that's right for you, give unitedhealthcare a call today. earlier this morning i spoke with romney advisor ed gillespie. thank you for joining us. when you are headed into a debate after such great reviews for the first debate, what's your goal? >> our goal is to continue letting the american people see mitt romney, to hear his plans to turn our country around, to see the very clear choice put
before them in terms of the direction governor romney would take the country, by reducing taxes on the middle class, by moving us toward a balanced budget, by getting jobs to versus president obama, which would be four more years like the last four years chshgs we just can't aforward. >> you know that you are going to face a president different this time. i mean, he has said it. his campaign aides have said it. this will be in certainly in style. a president different from the one faced in early october. how do you plan to have romney respond to a more aggressive president? >> well, the president can change his style. he can change his tactics. he can't change his record. he can't change his policies. that's what this election is about. that's what this election is about. you know, the fact that $4,300 drop in household incomes has occurred under his watch. that we have a stagnant economy. that 47 million americans are on food stamps. about 15 million person increase since he took office. one in six americans living in poverty. that's his record, and it's a result of his policies.
>> when you look at the vulnerabilities, which i think if you listen closely to what's going on the stump and what the surrogates are saying, you get a pretty good idea of where the other guy is going to come from, and i wanted to play you something former president bill clinton said recently. >> i had a different reaction to that first debate than a lot of people did. i mean, i saw -- i thought, wow, here's old moderate mitt. where you been, boy? i missed you all these last few years. >> in typical bill clinton fashion, you know, sort of couching that great sort of southern drawl, but this is one of the complaints. you have heard the president almost immediately after the last debate say he didn't tell the truth. you know, he didn't even embrace his own tax cut. you have mitt romney going to the des moines editorial board to soften up his approach to abortion.
is your tactic what it seems to be, which is to move him into the middle looking for those swing voters? >> younow, he is running on the same platform he has run on through the republican party primary. the country is a center right country. they want to have less federal spending. they want to get us on the path to a balanced budget. they want free enterprise driven economy that fosters job creation on a government-centered economy that fosters economic stagnation. one of the tngs that i think people didn't understand is mitt romney's record as a governor of massachusetts. very deeply democratic state and his ability to work across the aisle to get things done with an 85% democratic electorate. >> i think the point that's being made is that the governor of massachusetts and the guy who is running -- who ran for president in the primaries sometimes seemed to be at odds with one another. let me just play you something first, which is sort of a romney then and now. one is from the primary and one is from this "des moines register" and the subject is abortion.
>> in my view if we had justices like roberts, alito, scalia, and more justices like that, they might well decide to return this issue to states as opposed to saying it's in the federal constitution. do i believe supreme court should overturn roe v. wade? yes, i do. >> do you intend to pursue any legislation specifically regarding abortion? >> there's no legislation regarding -- with regards to abortion that i'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda." >> so is it or is it not a priority for mitt romney to pursue overturning roe v. wade? >> well, first of all, of course, that is -- that would be a decision by the supreme court. >> well, congress -- essential ssh essentially the president could do something about it. >> what the governor has consistently said he thinks that roe v. wade was wrongly decided. the people through their elected representatives.
that clip was cut a little bit short there because he went on to say that he would repeal and reverse president obama's mexico city policy, which compels american taxpayers to pay for abortion overseas. >> that's something that switches with presidents. like the democrats tend to reinstitute it. the republicans tend to take it out. >> it's an important issue in terms of taxpayer funding, abortion overseas, as well as taxpayer funding for abortion here, which is part of obama care and as president and governor romney would repeal obama care too, so life is an important issue in this election as is the economy and as is national security. all these issues always play an important role. >> you don't see a difference between him saying, yes, i want roe v. wade overturned, and you can do that legislatively. i'm adding that last part. you know, and him saying i don't actually see any legislation there that would become part of my agenda. those aren't two different tones to you about an approach to abortion? >> the fact is he is a pro-life candidate. he will be a pro-life president. he doesn't believe that we should federally fund abortion,
and he believes that roe was wrongly decided and that this is an issue that is best left to the american people and their elected representatives. completely consistent throughout. >> let me ask you a final question about benghazi and ongoing investigations. do you feel as though the romney campaign -- romney-ryan -- walks a fine line here between here are the tragic deaths of four americans, versus putting it out on there the stump? >> vice president biden directly contradicted the sworn testimony of the state department in the debate the other night. that led to another round of kind of nuancing by the white house. >> let me ask you a question about this. putting it in the political realm. >> it's a national security question here, which is, you know, when -- why would the adminiration and the president -- the president two weeks after these attacks on september 11 which resulted in the first -- the assassination
of an ambassador, the first in 33 years, and it was known at this point by various accounts that it was a premeditated attack, you know, six times in the united nations speech talked about this youtube video and never said anything about it being a terrorist attack. >> do you think he was lying? i'm trying to figure out what you all are saying. >> there are inconsistencies here, clear there are a lot more questions than answers. >> ed gillespie, sior advisor to the romney campaign. thank you for joining us. see you tuesday. >> thank you. looking forward to it. florida may once again be the deciding factor in the presidential race. the candidates have visited the state a combined 48 times and poured nearly $80 million into advertising. we'll get the sunshine state's coveted 29 electoral votes. the state of the race in florida is next. after lauren broke up , i went to the citi private pass page coveted 29 electoral votes. the state of the race in florida is next. h'll get the sunshine s coveted 29 electoral votes. the state of the race in florida is next. o'll get the sunshine s coveted 29 electoral votes. the state of the race in florida is next. [ jack ] ...and alicia.
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state's swing vote. here is where elections are won in florida. for mitt romney a loss of the sunshine state virtually closes the door to a presidential victory. president obama won florida in 2008 and is fighting to keep it in his column. cnn's average of three polls taken after the presidential debate found romney leading obama 49% to 46%. two prominent floridians on the battle for their state next. the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. experience life well lit, ask for transitions adaptive lenses.
joining me now robert wexler, president of the s.daniel abraham center for middle east peace, and american conservative union general al cardenas, the former head of the republican party. the two guys that are pretty steeped in florida politics. we're now seeing post-election. i think our cnn poll of polls had a three-point edge, actually, at this point for
governor romney. what decides this election, or is it multi-determined? >> it is multi-determined, and one thing you can bank on, the florida election will be close on election night, where i think -- >> do you think? >> maybe. maybe. i think -- i think it all depends on these next two debates. it's fair to say that i think, you know, governor romney has a three-point lead in some polls. mason dixon had him with a seven-point lead. i think it's in the three, four point range. this election could maybe not be close. >> do you sense it moving away from -- clearly, al senses it moving away from the president in florida. do you sense that? >> no, not at all. the obama team has registered more voters in florida than we ever dreamed to do. we've got more than 100 offices on the ground, but most importantly, the economic facts in florida -- florida went through a very difficult time.
220,000 new jobs in florida in the last 31 months. president supports a robust space program. the differences on medicare, the fact that governor romney supports what in essence is a voucher for florida seniors will make a big difference, and the immigration issue. the bold steps that president obama has taken. >> yet, mitt romney is pretty -- i mean, if you took all of those issues and say that's what's going to decide it, you would think, oh, then president obama should be somebody put ahead, -- should be so many points ahead, and he's not. >>hey're in real trouble beyond polling numbers. they're in real trouble also in terms of intensity. the 18 to 29-year-old vote, which was decisive for him in 2008. the intensity factor is down 25%, and in florida it's even higher because of the unemployment rate amongst our young people. the seniors where he did pretty well in 2008, he is now losing the senior vote because of the medicare issue, and our success
in letting folks know that they're taking $716 billion away from their medicare plan. >> let me just put -- i want to put a poll up there because this was specifically on medicare and floridaians. which candidate would do a better job handling medicare? this is likely voters. obama, 50%. romney 42%. >> that's changed a lot since that debate. i think that the first two debates -- >> this is post-debate i should say. >> the first two debates were paul ryan, mitt romney. the numbers that i have have shown a significant movement in the senior vote, but we're also, you know -- look, since 1952 dwight eisenhower there have been 15 presidential elections. democrats have won four. each one of those four johnson, carter, clinton, and obama have been won by people who eventually won the election. in florida he is behind. i mean, obama.
if he is behind in florida, according to florida history, he is not going to win the general election. >> let's get this straight on medicare. the $700 billion plus that al and other republicans speak about coming out of medicare just so all of florida seniors knows, that's coming out of insurance companies and providers who are charging too much. >> providers are -- but, okay, let me just -- i don't want to get into the weeds on this number because nobody ever comes to an agreement on it, but a provider is a doctor, and what we know is that those folks on medicare have to struggle sometimes to find a doctor who will accept medicare, so if cut those payments further for providers, that's a problem, is it not? >> 45% of doctors and hospitals in florida have said they will not take medicare patients in the event that obama's cuts come into effect. >> the financial security of medicare under president obama's watch has been extended eight years. that's an enormously important factor for florida seniors, and when we get into other issues, which benefit president obama from immigration to choice for women and even today, candy, as
we speak here, 1,500 american uniform military personnel are in israel or on their way to israel to engage in the largest joint military exercise between the united states and israel, and this will, amongst many other things, in a very pro-israel community in florida, which there is, highlight president obama's excellent record. >> yet, we do see post-debate that there was some falling off inside florida when you look inside the poll numbers with hispanic vote. that, many of the, there was -- it was -- we didn't see it so much rushing towards obama as falling away from the president. >> you know, the rhetoric on immigration is beginning to come around to -- people want a solution. >> how so? >> people want a solution of immigration. the only candidate who said he is going to find a bipartisan solution is mitt romney. it's like nixon -- >> the president said that about immigration reform. it's like nixon going to
china. chooirn. the only party that can get immigration reform permanently done in the united states is romney's party, and he said he would. now, president obama has had four years. he has broken all his promises to hispanics. how do you trust a person to do what he hasn't done in four years. >> the most extreme position that governor romney took in the primary may, in fact, have been immigration. he was to the right of newt gingrich. he slammed newt gingrich. he slammed governor perry for being too accommodating to new immigrants and people -- >> paying many-state tuition and -- >> that's right. governor romney cannot run from his very harsh position on immigration, a position that is quite anti-the interest of latinos in florida. >> in fact, the numbers are overwhelming for the president still. >> no one has been hurt in america by this president' economic policies more than hispanics. 15% unemployment. almost 50% of college graduates of hispanic origin can't get a job. jobs and the economy are the number one issue for hispanics, and frankly, they don't want four more years of this.
>> would you concede that in the hispanic community, latino community, that there is a feeling that republicans are very harsh in their -- and that hurts the republican party? do you concede that? >> i think politics, frankly, between you and i, i think democrats have done a lot better job at outreach than republicans have. this will be the last election that a republican will win the presidency unless generically speaking, the party does a better job -- >> but -- >> but mitt romney is doing a great job. mitt romney has gotten over 40% of hispanic vote in florida. that's plenty to win the state. he will hold on to that, and there will be a critical -- it will be a critical component to his win. i think he is beginning to improve with hispanics, and for that reason. >> still, the president will win the overwhelming number of votes probably nationwide and certainly in florida, of latino votes, but let me ask you one quick question. there's a senate race going on, connie mack to bill nelson. it looks as though at the moment that mack, the challenger, is going to get crushed.
if the republican gets crushed in the senate race, how does that affect the presidential race? >> it affects it very well for president obama and all of the democrats on the ticket. senator nelson is a known quantity in florida. he has served at the state and federal level. he has done so in a very admiral way. he is a decent man. these are household figures in the nicest of ways. they are both old florida and new florida. >> ten seconds. is it going to hurt mitt romney? >> two-thirds of state legislature is republican, 80% of the congressional group is republican. connie mack is coming back. he is within five points. bill nelson has never gotten to a 50% threshold. there's still a race to get. >> thank you both so much. >> thank you. >> president obama and mitt romney are both making big promises about taxes. can uncle sam afford either candidate's plans? that's next. i was skeptical at first.
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for the white house in arizona. according to a rocky mountain poll of likely voters president obama has a 44% to 42% edge over mitt romney, and that's within the survey's margin of error. only one democratic candidate has won arizona in the past 60 years, and that was bill clinton in 1996. the romney campaign has a new ad out today featuring joe biden laughing as his republican challenger congressman paul ryan talks about the struggling economy. the contrasting footage was from last thursday's vice presidential debate. a cnn-orc poll taken after the two men squared off showed the debate was a draw. a dangerous and daring effort to break a sound barrier. today sky diver felix baumgartner is making his second attempt to jump from the edge of space. his leap from a balloon will be about 320,000 feet. if successful, he will be the first person to break the sound barrier without a vehicle. >> there's a 30 second delay from the red bull stratus team.
you can see inside the capsule, he is about 68,000 feet up now. that's more than halfway to the point where he will jump from 120,000 feet above the earth. that should come in a little over an hour, candy. >> wow, that makes my stomach hurt sitting in the studio on terra firma. cnn will have continuing coverage of this through the day. up next, the political panel on obama, romney, and the candidate's plans for your money. >> hi. >> hi. you know, i can save you 15% today if you open up a charge card account with us. >> you just read my mind. >> announcer: just one little piece of information and they can open bogus accounts, stealing your credit, your money and ruining your reputation. that's why you need lifelock to relentlessly protect what matters most... [beeping...] helping stop crooks before your identity is attacked. and now you can have the most comprehensive identity theft protection available today... lifelock ultimate. so for protection you just
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contribute to bring back the middle class, they should be signing a pledge saying to the middle class, we're going to level the playing field. joining me for our roundtable bill burton, senior strategist with the pro-obama super pac priorities usa act, usa today, washington bureau chief susan page, cnn national political correspondent jim acosta, and grover norquist, president of americans for tax reform. i imagine you saw the debate? >> i did get a chance to see it. >> so let me just get your -- everybody's take on the vice presidential debate. we have polls that show nominally people thought romney -- ryan won. sorry. >> the al gore imitation, the laughing and the smirking and acting like a 14-year-old while on camera. he was supposed to be the adult. he was supposed to wipe the floor with the guy 20 years younger than him. i thought it was rude, abusive, and it didn't make the points he wanted to. ryan got to make the points and it showed up when you look at the polls. >> let me go to bill for the counter and get -- >> well, i mean, the theatrical
criticism of how joe biden responded to paul ryan's laughable performance in that debate, i think doesn't get to the substance, which was that -- >> would you rather he laughed less? >> no. i think that for most americans when they heard paul ryan say things like american troops should do the job that afghan troops should do, i think people were throwing things at their television. not just laugh and throwing their hands up at what paul ryan was saying. on the substance i think you can get a pretty good sense of how republicans think that joe biden did if their main critique is his face gestures and how he moved his hands. >> i think joe biden did what democrats needed him to do, which was to stop the hand ringing over t disappointing job that president obama had done the week before, but in the end i don't think this debate really matters. the debate that matters is the one that's coming up tuesday, and what president obama do we see there? do we see one that's more energized and more willing to push back against the points that the presidential candidate mitt romney is making? >> let me bring you back to one of the points that we know the president is going to push back
on and it's -- it's kind of what a lot of people see as a change in mitt romney over the course of the past month or so. this is something he has said on september 26th and it's about tax cuts. >> by the way, don't be expecting a huge cut in taxes because i'm also going to lower deductions and exemptions, but by bringing rates down, we'll be able to let small businesses keep more of their money so they can hire more people. >> now, without going into the weeds of the money and the $5 trillion and this and that, do u -- i mean, you're the master of the tax pledge and no new taxes. does that fit your bill? by the way, i'm not actually promising you a tax cut. it might just come out even. >> the only confusion is people don't -- >> that's fine with you. sorry. >> he wants to reduce marginal tax rates across the board for all americans, 20%, which is what reagan did, which is at
john f. kennedy did. he also wants to do what reagan did in 1986, which is to have it end towards revenue neutrality and job creation as reagan and kennedy gave you, and eliminating some deductions and credits, all the tax credits that have funneled money to the administration's friends, not help the economy. let's get rid of those kind of corrupt deductions and credits and raise some money at the same time, but net, it's going to be a revenue-neutral at worst or a tax cut. >> part of what happened in the first debate, i think, and this will run back into the tax issue, is that people saw mitt romney and some thought, oh, he is not this scary person we've seen in the ads. he seemed reasonable. he seemed like he knew his stuff. it wasn't just that the president seemed to have done badly, it was that mitt romney seemed to have done himself some good. so how does the president take this tax issue and move it forward on tuesday? >> well, on taxes i think that romney is actually a lot closer to george w. bush than to ronald reagan. in comparison, when you consider ronald reagan was actually
willing to raise taxes and the spike in growth that you saw in the 1980s came after a big tax hike. what mitt romney is saying is, no, we can't make the wealthy pay more of their fair share. what we have to do is just cut taxes for everybody, cut tacks -- taxes for corporations, and by doing that by making sure that the people at the very top do better, somehow that will trickle down. what we know is that doesn't work. >> jim, on the campaign trail are you hearing a lot of chatter as well about the moderate mitt? we've heard bill clinton say, oh, the moderate mitt is back, oh -- it sort of comes off the president's post-debate thing about he is lying. that's not what he said. he has completely changed. a, has he completely changed, or have they, what we call putting emphasis on a different syllable? >> i put this to a romney aid adviser, and he pushed back on the notion the governor is moving back to the middle. he said the governor is talking bipartisanship now that he has this big audience through all these debates and that may strike the obama
campaign as being wishy washy or moving to the middle, but the romney campaign says, no, this is what he did when he was governor of massachusetts. he governed as a conservative. now, a lot of people may say that's not true, but he did work with a democratic legislature in massachusetts, and they say that is one of the strong telling points heading into the rest of this campaign, but as for the issue of tax cuts, i mean, i think one thing that has not been answered by the romney campaign and not by paul ryan at that debate the other night is how they pay for these tax cuts. mitt romney has been given this opportunity on a number of occasions. he just won't specify. he talks about the loopholes that will be closed or eliminated. >> in fact, isn't there -- i want you to take that on because isn't there some kind of mathematical formula that if you close all those loopholes, just close them all, you still can't pay for that kind of 20% tax hike? is that not true? >> well, most important thing -- you could always do something along those lines, but the most important thing is economic growth. if our economy had grown since
the bottom of this recession as reagan's did, we would have ten million more americans at work today than we do. reagan had a pro-growth, low tax rate, spend less not more and deregulate approach. obama did the opposite. we've seen the worst recovery since world war ii. the most important thing he can do to bring in revenue to the government is to have more working. that's why the lower tax rates bring in more money, not by posting every single deduction or credit. that's how the democrats want to do it, but by having more growth and more jobs. >> bottom line, you close some of the loopholes and the rest will be made up in growth in the economy and increase. therefore, more people will be working. therefore, more people will be paying taxes.
>> it was only slightly better than the eight years before that. what mitt romney is talking about is instituting a tax cut plan which would actually force taxes on the middle class to go up. one of the studies mitt romney sights by feldstein says if you raise taxes for folks in the 100,000 to 200,000 tax bracket, it could make a difference. >> there is a change in stated tax policy, that's obama's. four years ago he said he would not allow any tax increase on anyone that earned less than $250,000 a year ever, that was the promise. he has broken it 20 times with a series of tax increases. >> health care and places like that. >> in health care, yeah, and he changed his position. august 8, grand junction, colorado, six times since, he said my plan is i won't raise your income taxes in the next year, if you were earn less than $50,000. he said it is a big signal. he is only promising not to
raise income taxes, two, promise is good for 2013. in 2014, the president promised nobody that he won't raise their taxes. there's a reason he is opening that door. >> susan, we all know this election is about the economy, is this tax issue, is that playing large, small, what is that? is that a driver of votes? >> the bigger issue is jobs, who is creating jobs than the issue of taxes. tax is a powerful issue for people. i think president obama will try to push back against the mitt romney plan. he would be in better position if he was presenting more details about what plan he would have moving forward on tax reform, job creation, on the economy. maybe we'll hear more of that. >> jim, when you look at mitt romney on the stump now, as opposed to mitt romney, i think we said it in the beginning, he seems to have at this moment the
momentum that eluded him through much of this. is there a change in him? do you feel it at all or is this debate driven? >> when mitt romney came to e back of the campaign plane and handed quarter pounders to the press corps, that seemed to give us a sign, yes, he is feeling better about this campaign these days. and you do see that on the campaign trail. i think one of the other things to note, candy, he's always run a disciplined campaign. he's not always a disciplined candidate, things pop out of his mouth that make his advisers go crazy, but all of that is paying dividends in the final stretch of the campaign. he's going through intense debate prep. people say why are you doing that rather than being on the campaign trail, it is paying off. >> he is going to face a different president obama. i have to end it there. bill burton and you, susan page, i looked at you, thought susan page, jim, and thank you so much for being here. >> good luck tuesday.
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come from undecided voters. we wanted to know what our intrepid cnners would ask or if they had advice for me before the show down. >> i notice in the debates when the candidates are asked a certain question about a certain topic, they sometimes stray off it. >> really hold the candidates' feet to the fire. >> say hey, wait a minute, this was my question, five minutes ago you didn't answer it, can you answer this question. >> you can see i am at the airport in kentucky coming from the vice presidential debate. my advice to you having been in the hall, wear warm clothes. it's freezing! >> my advice to anyone that might moderate a debate, don't forget it will be a full body shot, so be sure to wear some shoes. >> i would like to hear the candidates ask no kidding what is the best thing you can say about the opposition party. i think they wouldn't have a word to say. >> i would probably ask something along the lines what's been the happiest moment of your life and what's been the saddest moment of your life.
>> candy, i'd really appreciate if you would ask both these fine gentlemen if they could stop by my office, win or lose after the election to help clean up all of the clutter we get during the campaign. i have the romney flip flops here, taking up a little space in the office. to be fair, an obama set as well. we have chia obama and chia romney. we still have the relics and clutter of four years ago. so ask but i'm not expecting the right answer. >> please ask about campaign finance. isn't that the root to all our problems? i mean, obviously the most important question that any moderator should ask is what was your pregame meal? come on, get to the marijuana question! i know candy crowley is moderating this debate. i would tell candy to meditate to get ready, very stressful, but i already know that candy meditates, now i'm doing it because she told me to. so